What to look for when viewing a house in France


Viewing your potential dream home for the first time is one of the most exciting aspects of house hunting. There are, however, a few things to bear in mind during and after a viewing to help you decide if it really is the house for you.

1.Location first
Most things about a property can be altered – apart from its position and the amount of natural light it enjoys. Consider these first. In which direction does it face? What does it look out on and how noisy is it? Turn the lights off to get a good idea how light the house actually is. Make notes as you go – you think you will remember but you won’t.

2. Be nosey
Be aware that you will likely be seeing the property in its most attractive state. Assess the shell of the home – not the lifestyle or taste of the current occupant. Don’t be afraid and open doors and cupboards, check the water pressure in the shower and so on.

3. Overall look
Is the house clean and obviously looked after? If so, it is likely that it has also been well-maintained and hence there is less likelihood of any nasty surprises later on.

4. Irregular rooms
Watch out for irregularly shaped rooms and think about how you’d use each space. Is there enough space for all your belongings and will there still be enough space in a year or three’s time?

5. Manners
Don’t pretend to be interested if you’re not. Be polite but no need to be over friendly. You might end up in a heated negotiation and it won’t help if you’ve upset them at the start.

6. Communicate with your property finder or agent
Always tell your property finder the truth about what you thought about a property. Property finders need feedback in order to develop a more detailed picture of what you are looking for.

7. If you’re genuinely interested, start asking questions
Have any alterations been made? What fixtures and fittings are included? How long have the owners lived there? How long has it been on the market? Have there been any offers? The more information you have, the more confident you will be.

8. Do a second viewing
Second viewings are vital as this is when you really start to see the house as it really is and yourself living there. Ideally the second viewing should be at a different time of day from your original visit. In summer, when it is unlikely you will ever see a property after dark it can be an idea to make your second viewing as late into the evening as possible. It is not just light levels that alter with the time of day, so do traffic levels and neighbour noise levels.

Of course, when buying a house, you have to have the right feeling about it and I see time and again how a property can tick every box on the wish-list and yet just not ‘feel’ right when the buyer views. This is the advantage of using a property finder who will have already pointed out all the pros and cons of each property and make sure it ticks all the boxes so that, armed with all the relevant information, you can at least feel confident in letting your feelings take over when you view.


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